‘He will love being back’: Jonty Evans and Art to return to Badminton

Jonty Evans and his Olympic ride Cooley Rorkes Drift are to return to the main arena at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (1 to 5 May).

Jonty, who sustained a serious head injury in a cross-country fall 11 months ago, will be taking part in the dressage demonstration compered by Pammy Hutton on 3 May.

“Ever since I was a little boy I have been obsessed with Badminton so to be asked to come back now is absolutely great,” said Jonty, who has been back in the saddle for several months.

“I watched my heroes here, Ian Stark, Ginny Leng and lots more, so it has always been an exceptional event to be part of.”

Jonty and “Art” made their first public appearance since the accident, in the CIC3* (now CCI4*-L) at Tattersalls, at Belton on 30 March — one year on from their 2018 Grantham Cup victory at the horse trials.

Jonty told crowds at the time that what people have done for him is “off the scale”.

The Irishman has competed at three Badmintons, with his best result at the Gloucestershire eventing coming with a top-20 finish in 2017.

The dressage demonstrations on the Thursday and Friday of Badminton are an annual event, taking place at 12.30pm on both days.

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This year’s focus will be on why riding in several disciplines can help you make the most out of your career in the saddle. There will also be a freestyle performance and a demonstration from a para dressage European medallist.

The horses chosen will also show the different types who take part at elite level dressage.

“In his eyes Art is just going to think everyone is there especially to watch him, he will love being back at Badminton so much,” said Jonty of his crowd-funded superstar.

Pammy will also be continuing her popular Badminton radio dressage commentary, along with co-host top dressage judge Peter Storr.

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